Source Pravda.Ru

U.S. national security adviser meets on visit to Moscow to push diplomatic efforts on Iran

U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley visited Moscow Monday, as Washington pushes diplomatic efforts to confront Iran over its suspect nuclear program. Iran's foreign minister held separate talks in the Russian capital.

Hadley met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials at the start of his two-day visit.

The United States has been trying to rally support for bringing Iran before the U.N. Security Council for possible economic penalties if it does not provide answers and allay fears about its nuclear program, which the U.S. says is a covert drive to build nuclear weapons.

"We are conducting a wide discussion with Russia on this topic," Hadley was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency before his meeting with Lavrov.

"Our positions are similar, and we are agreed on the basic points," he said.

However, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice failed earlier this month to break through Moscow's opposition to hauling Iran before the Security Council. She did say, though, that Moscow was trying to push its ally Iran back to the bargaining table.

Lavrov and Hadley alluded to the recent series of intense consultations between Russia and the United States.

"We had an opportunity to discuss a number of topical international issues with U.S. Secretary of State Rice in Moscow, including the situation around Iran, Syria and Lebanon. We exchanged views on the situation in Central Asia on the results of Ms. Rice's trip to that region and ahead of my own trip into the same area," Lavrov said.

Hadley responded: "I think the consultation you described over the last two months shows the vitality and the intensity of the consultations between the United States and the Russian Federation."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was due to meet with Lavrov on Monday afternoon. Russia has urged Iran to resume talks with the European Union over its nuclear program. Talks between Iran and the EU's three negotiating partners Britain, France and Germany collapsed in August after Iran resumed uranium reprocessing work reports the AP.